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Oil leak in 98 camry does it need repair?

I get oil changes twice a year, in town driving less than 8 K miles per year.
In between last changes I noticed I was down about 1/2 qt .
Mechanic told me I had oil leak.
I was scared!
Do I need to repair leak? Or simply check level and replace oil as needed in between changes?

There is not even close to enough information here to answer your question.
Do you monitor your oil level between changes? If you’re not, you should, or you WILL need a new car. I’m amazed you got this far.

How often do you get oil changes? If it’s every 5,000 miles and you were only down 1/2 quart, you have absolutely no problem whatsoever. The mechanic MIGHT have been referring to seepage past the valve cover gasket (normal on aging engines and not a problem at this usage level). We need to know WHERE he said the oil was leaking from.

Do you use a quickie-lube joint? Please say no. Please.

Last comment: even on a NEW car you should be checking the oil level weekly and topping it off as necessary. The single biggest reason engines self-destruct is probably because people fail to monitor their oil level. It’s important on new engines and absolutely essential on old engines.

Did the mechanic tell you where the leak is? Do you see oil in the floor after you move out your garage or drive? 1/2 quart is not serious.

He said he’d have to run some dye through it to find where leak is. I said no.
It a gargage we/ve used for yrs, but suddenly bought by Express Oil (a quickie) and I think we’ll quit them!
I check my oil at least once a month and will go to weekly after this scare.
Thanks for reassurances.

He said he’d need to add dye to trace leak. I declined.
Will switch mechanics.
Will check oil weekly.
After he told me I had leak, I placed cardboard under oil pan and found new oil spread along a linear pattern…looked under engine and can see moisture (?oil) along some engine part whose name I do not know. Might be oil pan…
Thanks for your email.

A half quart between changes is nothing to worry about as long as you keep checking. Which engine?

By which engine do you mean 4 cylinder, automatic? That’s what I have.

Once again you guys have jumped in with all the good answers…

Can you post a photo of the apparent “leak”?

We haven’t seen pictures yet, so that being said . . .

I hope it isn’t the seal between the oil pump and timing case cover

Those do go bad on the 5S-FE engine . . . with age . . . and they are a lot of work, and can make quite a bit of a mess.

Oil leaks tend to get worse over time, imho, I would pay to see where the leak is coming from, cost to repair and go on from there. Glad you are checking the oil level frequently.

you drive 8K miles a year and change the oil twice. So, you lost 1/2 qt within ~4000 miles. Forget it and just check the oil level on a regular basis. With the age of the car and total mileage it is normal wear and tear. If you feel like crawling under the car, go ahead and make sure the oil plug is tight and while you are under there tighten all bolts around the oil pan. If you don’t feel like crawling under your car, ask your spouse to do it (assuming you are married).

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Thanks for this info. Will do as you suggest.

Thanks. Husband too ill to crawl under these days.
So new mechanic will check it out with next oil change

Just make sure they’re a good (trustworthy) mechanic. Oil leaks are a frequent problem to claim, even if the leak is small. If you have to add less than a quart every 2000 miles I wouldn’t worry about it.

Taught by my Father at the age of 8. Oil level is checked every Saturday. I did it this Saturday morning. Right on the full dot. This ritual was performed on vehicles that had not been started or driven since last Saturday. They could have developed a leak.

Thanks, I’ll be checking every Tuesday. Good Dad you had!

Thank you for your good advice.
I feel better now.

Keep checking the oil level and drive on. You have nothing to fear.

I have a 2000 Camry with 185,000 miles. It has a small oil leak, that is more like a seep. I put a piece of cardboard under the motor where I park the car. It shows a few small spots, that’s all so I just live with it. Needing to add 1/2 qt. of oil in 4000 miles is actually pretty good for an old car like yours. Just check the oil level once a month and add oil if needed.